Harmony is shutting down support for a $250 device that's barely a year old, the Harmony Express, a remote that baked Amazon's voice assistant Alexa inside when it launched in April 2019.
The decision comes with a silver lining — anyone who bought the remote can now request a full refund from Harmony, or get a free upgrade to the Harmony Elite, a remote that retails for about $270. There are caveats, of course, which we've outline below.
The news, first spotted by The Verge, posted on Logitech's site just hours ago. The company stated the decision came because for Logitech, "…our expectations were not met for this kind of Harmony remote…"
While the remote will stay active through September 30, 2020 — and then, after, bricked — people who still have the Harmony Express in their possession will have until December 31, 2020 to request a refund or upgrade.
The Harmony Express remote had a one-button connection to Amazon AlexaLogitech
The key to the remote was having Alexa built inside. While many smart devices can access Alexa, or work with it, the Harmony Express remote worked almost as an Alexa device. You didn't need to say "Alexa," for example, before asking it to run tasks like turning on the lights. The remote was also designed to discover many other devices automatically, rather than manually connect them.
The remote also launched with a Harmony Express app, which doubled as a finder helping you locate the controller if it goes lost. And other Alexa devices were said to be able to hep you locate the remote too.
Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App
The Harmony Elite, which people can now get for free in exchange for the Express, does work with Amazon Alexa as well.
This isn't the first time Logitech has pulled the plug on devices, infuriating its consumers. In 2017, the company also announced it was bricking its Harmony Link, a $100 controller which controlled home cinema devices. Back then, the company did offer a discount on a similarly priced device, or an upgrade to a new Hub if the Link was under warranty. The offer now of a full refund for the price of the Harmony Express, feels a bit more consumer friendly..
Note, that in order to be eligible for the refund you must still have the Harmony Elite in your possession — you can't have tossed it, or given it to someone else as a gift, for example.
You're also going to need to set up the refund through the actual Harmony Express app. And you may need to send Harmony your proof of purchase — and even the actual remote itself.
Finally, if you're one of those unlucky people who honestly just purchased the remote in the past week or so, you're going to need to actually set up and download the app and go through this process.
Here are the remainder of the details from Logitech on how to get your full refund — or get a new remote instead.
Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Amazon Alexa enabled devices.
Logitech Harmony Hub for Control of 8 Home Entertainment Devices
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